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Naomi Moreland

Naomi Moreland, a junior nursing major, is the recipient of Dominican University’s St. Catherine Medal for the 2022-23 academic year.

Awarded by Kappa Gammi Pi, the National Catholic Honors Society, the St. Catherine Medal recognizes a sophomore or junior for outstanding service and academic achievement.

Moreland’s service work is varied and noteworthy. She has partnered with an Arkansas-based organization to purchase and distribute menstrual hygiene products to women’s shelters in and around her hometown of Little Rock; lived and worked in a group home for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities as a Willenborg Fellow; and joined University Ministry as a Waters intern to package and distribute hundreds of meals to food insecure residents through the Quinn Center in Maywood. Also with University Ministry, Moreland developed and led student retreats to strengthen the sense of campus community during the early days of the pandemic.

“For me, it all boils down to being really, really fortunate,” Moreland said of her desire to serve others. “I have worked with communities where not everyone is as lucky or had the experiences I’ve had. I want to give back in any way I can.”

Natalia Prato and Maria Orozco, two classmates who nominated Moreland, called her a “stellar example of the four Dominican pillars of prayer, study, community, and service,” with Prato also noting Moreland’s “genuine character and empathic concern for others.”

As a nursing student, Moreland hopes to focus on women’s health in her future career, working with marginalized communities in particular.

“As a person of color myself, I want to help communities that don’t have the best access to healthcare or have been harmed by mistrust of the medical community,” she says.

Moreland will receive the St. Catherine Medal at a ceremony in the spring. Other nominees for the award were Sofia Alessandrini, Karolina Gil, and Jason Kougan.